Sunday, November 21, 2021




SCIENCE FICTION - There are 2 main methods to determine Science Fiction sub genres. Ask yourself, does the action take place on our Earth or on another world? Science permits humans to advance to the point that life on an extraterrestrial world/ need to travel there, or disruptive societal change -- dramatically transforming our day to day existence.  Before the term Science Fiction had ever been used, Jules Verne wrote a series under the moniker Voyages Extraordinaires including From the Earth to the Moon (De la terre à la lune).  While that was happening, Robert Louis Stephenson dreamt up the concept for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  A short time later, HG Wells wrote and published The Time Machine, Invisible Man and War of the Worlds. The Speculative Fiction movement began, whereby Earthly limits fall away and imagination takes flight. Even if that imagination means staying at home. Superhero and Apocalyptic fiction emerged into a space created by their predecessors. Once we learned history is not fixed and things might/ might not turn out the way we hope, Social fiction appeared. With a fully developed genre, authors could go anywhere and everywhere, unrestricted by reality, ready to inhabit new nearby/ faraway worlds.

Related links:

From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne (1865)

Gun enthusiasts dream up an idea to shoot themselves to the moon with a space gun, in an attempt to survive a moon landing.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Robert by Louis Stevenson (1886)

A London lawyer investigates strange occurrences involving his old friend and the evil Edward Hyde.

War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (1897)

Martians invade the home of an unnamed narrator, and his younger brother, in southern England.

Superman by Action Comics (1938)

As a baby, an alien is sent to Earth from an old faraway planet before it was destroyed, where he learns to assume a new identity.

Evidence by Isaac Asimov (1946)

A political opponent levels an accusation that his rival is a robot, remotely guided by the true candidate -- who was in reality permanently disfigured by an accident.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954)

The only survivor of a pandemic lives in LA, as he struggles to beat the disease but constantly fears pandemic sufferers arisen from the dead like vampires.

The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney (1955)

When seeds invade Santa Mira, unsuspecting sleeping residents disappear and are quietly replaced with nonhuman duplicates.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1957)

While investigating a ruined factory, a railroad magnate finds a strange electric motor.

Soldier from Tomorrow by Harlan Ellison (1957)

A soldier from a distant future, state conditioned from birth to fight and kill, travels through time to the present.

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (1959)

A young soldier serves in the Mobile Infantry, fighting in an interstellar war with Arachnids, sent through space from the planet Klendathu.

Coma by Robin Cook (1977)

As students complete their rotation, it becomes clear patients are going into comas more often than usual, at Boston Memorial.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)

A totalitarian state has overthrown the United States government in a world where fertile women are forbidden to use their birth names in service to their master.

Diaspora by Greg Egan (1997)

In a post human future, a transhuman orphan takes the form of a purple robed herdsman, set off to explore the unknown.

Legion Brandon by Sanderson (2012)

A special condition allows a man to generate multiple personalities but he shies away from researchers wanting to study his abilities.


Monday, November 8, 2021


RAISED BY WOLVES - Ridley Scott, legendary director of Blade Runner and Alien, has returned to series television, offering an unsettling potential vision of our closest neighboring planet. Two androids have landed and camped out on that barren world, intending to recreate the human race. Kepler-22b is real, but Raised by Wolves (2020) was written/ created by Aaron Guzikowski, with the support of the aforementioned, as producer. Amanda Collin’s star shines bright in the role of Mother. As a shapeshifting necromancer, she’s into some extremely warped stuff, but I am here for it. Travis Fimmel stars as Marcus/ Caleb, and has even managed to bring about the future mullet. Musically, the score creates a backdrop of disconnected unease. Kepler-22b scenes are intercut with events occurring on a post-apocalyptic future Earth. The film has a specific aesthetic, evoking but not directly referencing Blade Runner or Alien. That is supported tonally by virtual and physical SFX which are some of the best ever to have been made. Big TV networks and movie studios have typically shied away from Sci-Fi/ Horror, like this one. It will be great to (hopefully) see this trend continue.  I’ll admit - I feared showrunners completely lost their way in the hodgepodge finale of Season 1. Also, too often Mother wanders aimlessly, but does not accomplish anything. But overall, I loved it - as a collective entity. Despite some of it's flaws, and my complaints.  Expect the 2nd season to be available for streaming on HBO in early 2022.